School gates are a key area where young people congregate daily, are influenced by adults around them and are affected by smoking.

Why Smokefree School Gates?

Exposure to Smoking

Children exposed to smoking from family, friends or teachers are much more likely to start smoking themselves.1 Children with parents who smoke are 70% more likely to start smoking.2

Habit of Childhood

A classroom of children take up smoking every day. Two thirds of smokers start before the age of 18. People who start smoking earlier are often the heaviest smokers later in life.

Second-hand Smoke

11,000 people die every year in the UK due to someone else’s smoking habit. Second-hand smoke is especially dangerous for children. It can increase the risk of asthma, glue ear and lung conditions.

Cigarette Litter

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, found on 86% of Wales’ streets. How many can you find outside your school? Empower children to take environmental action!

The story so far

We know from opinion polls that public support for smokefree spaces in Wales is high. We have good links with public health representatives in other countries who have been actively involved in campaigning for and developing smokefree spaces.

What the school defines as important to the well-being of staff and pupils, helps shape the community and the family home. Your school plays a vital role in preparing young people for adult life.

Working with local authorities we are further developing smokefree policies that will protect young people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. There is also clear evidence that young people are influenced by seeing adults smoke.

Like our hugely successful smokefree playgrounds campaign, smokefree school gates involves a voluntary ban coupled with signage and a public awareness campaign. Wrexham was the first Local Authority in Wales to implement the ban with signage provided by ourselves. Many other councils such as Swansea and Ceredigion have now followed suit.

The Future

In July 2017, the Public Health Wales Act was passed by the Welsh Government. Included in this Act is the measure to ban smoking in school grounds, thereby making it against the law to smoke in the grounds of a school being used for the purpose of education or childcare.

Get involved

Make your school gates smokefree

Fill out the form below to show your interest in smokefree school gates and a member of our team will be in touch.

Make your school smokefree

Download our toolkit

We’ve designed a toolkit for schools to support them in implementing smokefree gates at their institution.

The toolkit includes signage, letters to parents / guardians, template policy and lesson plans.

Parent or Guardian?

You and your child’s happiness is important to the school. If you feel this is a big issue at the school gates, contact your school and ask them to get involved! If you’re part of the PTA, bring it up at the next meeting.

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Leonardi-Bee J, Jere ML, Britton J. Exposure to parental and sibling smoking and the risk of smoking uptake in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2011

2 Young People and Smoking. ASH England. July 2014

Further Research

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